Turkey’s foreign ministry on June 19 called on all U.N. member states and international institutions to insist on carrying out the recommendations made in a report by a U.N. rights investigator on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Earlier on, Agnes Callamard, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, said evidence suggests Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials were liable for Khashoggi‘s murder.
In a statement late on June 19, the foreign ministry said the report confirmed the findings by Turkish authorities, while also determining that the premeditated killing was in violation of international laws and principles.
“[They will] pay the price and be held accountable,” he said, following the release of the U.N. report.
Hatice Cengiz said in a New York Times op-ed piece that to this point Washington “has chosen not to use its strong ties and leverage with Riyadh to get the Saudis to reveal the truth about Jamal’s murder and to ensure those responsible are held accountable.”
“President [Donald] Trump has tried to look the other way,” she wrote.
But Cengiz pointed to the detention of three men, whom she said are “reformist scholars”- Salman al-Awda, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari-, arguing Trump “has the power to save the lives of the three men” as they await execution in the Kingdom.
“Jamal always said they were reformists, contrary to allegations made against them by Saudi Arabia,” she said. “And Riyadh’s lax attitude to the legal proceedings of Jamal’s case cannot be accepted.”
Khashoggi, a critic of the prince and a Washington Post columnist, was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2 where he was to receive papers ahead of his wedding.
His body was dismembered and removed from the building, the Saudi prosecutor has said, and his remains have not been found.
“It is the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur that Mr. Khashoggi has been the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law,” Callamard said in her reportbased on a six-month investigation.
Callamard went to Turkey earlier this year with a team of forensic and legal experts and said she received evidence from Turkish authorities.
“There is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials’ individual liability, including the Crown Prince’s”, she said.
“Indeed, this human rights inquiry has shown that there is sufficient credible evidence regarding the responsibility of the Crown Prince demanding further investigation,” she added, urging U.N. Secretary-General to establish an international probe.
The report also urged further investigations by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the FBI.
Cengiz urged the U.N. to heed the call.
“If Jamal and his principles have any humanitarian and moral worth, this is the time to speak up,” she wrote. “If people of virtue don’t stand up today for a man who defended such values and fought to advance them in his country, then who else is going to do it.”
Khashoggi killing was an international crime: Callamard
The murder of Khashoggi has damaged international relations and it was an “international crime”, Callamard told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.
The UN rapporteur who shared a damning report on the brutal murder of Khashoggi on June 19 said she called on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to look at this murder as a “springboard to take very effective measures for prevention of targeted killings.”
“We live in a world where individuals- journalists, human rights defenders, dissidents- are targeted by their governments,” she said.
“I think the UNHRC has an opportunity and responsibility to take actions to prevent or respond to such killings,” she added.
The UN rapporteur said she believed that the UN Security Council “has not truly taken stock of the seriousness and the gravity of the killing of Mr. Khashoggi”, adding that “the killing was an international crime, involved and replies a range of violations of international law, has been a major disrupt to international relations.”
Underlining that she was refused a visit to Saudi Arabia within the scope of the investigation of Khashoggi‘s murder, Callamard said the Saudi authorities have chosen “not to cooperate with me”.
Hurriyet Daily News